New satellite imagery shows that Russia’s air combat power in Syria has exploded over the last 48 hours, with 12 Su-25 Frogtfoots adding to the four Su-30SM Flankers and about a dozen or so combat helicopters already stationed at Latakia Air Base in Syria. A dozen Russian Su-24 Fencers are also said to be on the ground there now as well.
This brings Russia’s air combat element in the war torn country up to around 40 or so aircraft. This is a very formidable force with capabilities ranging from troop transport, deep strike, reconnaissance, counter-air and especially close air support capabilities, of which the Su-25 is very roughly equivalent to Russia’s A-10 Warthog. In addition to the fighter, attack, and vertical lift aviation assets, the Russians also are said to be launching Predator sized drones out of the base.
Su-24s supposedly spotted into tow of an Il-76 tanker-transport yesterday
In addition, Latakia Air Base, the growing Russian outpost where all this air power is housed, is said to be guarded by Panstir-S1 point air defense surface-to-air missile and cannon systems. Ground forces have also increased to about 500 soldiers, backed by dozens of armored personnel carriers, nine T-90 main battle tanks and assorted artillery.
US airstrikes in Syria are ineffective as long as Washington fails to coordinate its actions with those battling terrorists on the ground, Syrian FM Walid Muallem told RT, adding that Damascus fully supports the idea of a coalition genuinely committed to the cause.
The international community could have prevented much of the bloodshed in Syria by moving beyond empty declarations and sincerely respecting the obligations to fight terrorism, Walid Muallem told RT Arabic in an exclusive interview.
“We want to ask the international community…what have you done to fulfill the UN Security Council resolutions adopted in accordance with Chapter 7 [of the UN Charter]?” Muallem said. “Did neighboring countries implement the Security Council resolutions on fighting terrorism? Not a single one.”
Russia has long insisted on the creation of an international anti-terrorist coalition that would coordinate its efforts with the Syrian army battling the radical Islamist forces on the ground. Muallem says Damascus fully supports such an initiative.
“We declare that we are ready to coordinate our actions with any country in the world, which sincerely wished to fight terrorism in practice,” Muallem stated, adding that scrapping any support to terrorist groups would be essential proof of sincerity.
Muallem also commented on the information campaigns presenting the ongoing Russian-Syrian cooperation as some kind of growing threat or something illegal.
“Moscow is acting within the framework of international law, respecting the sovereignty of our country and in coordination with Syria,” he said. “We do not hide anything under the table … We regard Russia as our friend and strategic ally which is honest in its actions.”